What does ice fishing have to do with talent acquisition? As a Marketing Recruiter based in Minnesota, I find this to be an apt analogy for many companies’ talent acquisition efforts.
Consider this: A marketing leader for a potential MedTech client stated that they were having trouble finding talent to fill critical roles. I asked if they had considered using a search firm. He said that they were sticking with job postings for now. Jokingly, I said “You must love ice fishing.” He looked puzzled and said “No, it’s boring, cold and you rarely catch anything. Why do you ask?” I told him that when you post a role on one or even multiple sites, it is like drilling a 12-inch hole to try and get at the fish in a lake that is many thousands of acres. And even if you catch a fish, more often than not it isn’t what you want. Talk to me about eelpout sometime!
Top talent is like a prize game fish. They are hard to find in the best of times. Easily spooked because everyone is trying to catch them. Finicky about what will attract them. And should you hook one, they are really good at using the sharp edges of their teeth or the hole in the ice to break the line.
During our current COVID-19-embattled world, top talent is “sheltering in role” not perusing job boards, or at least rarely applying. Top marketing talent in Medical Devices and other high-tech industries are being pursued for new opportunities internally and externally frequently. But they are not biting unless it is something really interesting and presented to them in the right way. Even then, keeping them on the hook requires a considerable amount of candidate care.
So do you want to want to be a leader that builds top teams or do you want to go ice fishing?